Putting the customer first drives sales … at least KIA Australia thinks so

Kia AU 777

Competition benefits consumers far more than so-called consumer protection laws and the red-tape they’re wrapped in. The former delivers better quality and service and a lower price, while the latter needlessly drives up costs on both sides of the transaction and keeps seedy lawyers in business. Want proof? Look at what Kia is doing in Australia, and why. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Customer Experience, PR & Branding

Plain language to the rescue?

Knights in shining armour

Imagine if you will, you are the founder and CEO of ABC, Co., a small to midsize company that’s been sued for millions of dollars in a breach of contract action. Next imagine that, just before sending the jury out to deliberate, you heard the judge say to them:  “It is up to you to decide what ABC, Co.’s obligations were under the contract.”  Feeling queasy? Well, here’s the kicker:  your company wrote the contract.

Recently, a scenario just like this one played itself out in a Chicago courtroom. How’d it turn out, you ask? Read on. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Best Practices, Court Decisions

Groundhog Day: Another piece questioning the value of extended warranties

Celtic-knot-basic-linear

The same article keeps popping up every other week or so in one publication or another. Its headline either asks if extended warranties are worth the cost or screams they are not. It gives the same advice – “buy smart” – and generally reaches the same conclusion on whether you should buy a service contract – “It depends”. See here, then here, here, herehere, and here.  Why is somebody always picking on extended warranties?

Here are 5 reasons why I think extended warranties make an easy target. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Customer Experience, PR & Branding, Service Contract, Warranty

Consumer Reports to consumers: Choose risk or over peace of mind

boxing clip artIn a September 6 piece, Why you should avoid home warranties, Consumer Reports again takes a shot at service contracts. Noting a recent complaint filed by New Jersey regulators against Choice Home Warranty for allegedly making it difficult to obtain benefits, CR “recommend[s] avoiding service contracts” because those “that cover homes and cars, for example, can cost hundreds of dollars.” But what if the car or home costs many thousands of dollars? Isn’t spending a few hundred bucks on a service contract worth it to minimize risk and secure peace of mind? “No,” says CR, “it makes much more sense to buy reliable products and maintain them as the manufacturer recommends.” Now it’s clear, just buy things that won’t malfunction or fail. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Customer Experience, Resolving Disputes, Risk Management, Service Contract, Warranty

Odds and ends in the world of warranty

notes Some interesting notes about the goings on in the warranty business. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Customer Experience, Service Contract, Warranty

Case Note: Court puts the brakes on implied warranty claims

brake rotor

“Merchantability” is one of those legal terms-of-art that defies precise definition. Courts ruling on implied warranty of merchantability claims generally frame the question as whether the product was “reasonably fit for its intended purpose.” But what any given jury will find to be “reasonable” is anyone’s guess. So better for the defendant that the case never get to the jury. I think Chrysler might agree. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Court Decisions, Resolving Disputes, Statutes & Regulations, Warranty

Mary, you’re being quite contrary

see sazw

In her recent column, Everyday Cheapskate Mary Hunt begins by taking a swipe at extended warranties: “While I cannot say that every extended warranty would be a rip off, that’s the way I want you to start thinking of them.” But she concludes her piece by noting that, “On a personal note, there are only two products for which I have and will continue to buy the extended warranty: Apple products … and treadmills.” Confusing? Well not really. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Customer Experience, Service Contract

Tesla: Investing in warranty is “doing the right thing.”

Tesla logo

“Doing the right thing” might reduce electric car maker Tesla Motors’ earnings short-term, “but will work out well in the long term,” writes CEO Elon Musk on the company’s blog. In today’s marketplace, I think he’s on the money. What do you think? Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Best Practices, Customer Experience, PR & Branding, Service Contract, Statutes & Regulations, Warranty

Are warranties withering? Will service contracts surge?

withered rose

Warranties are withering, claims an Arizona State marketing professor.  This, he says, bodes well for service contract industry profits, but not for consumers.

But in many product sectors warranty is expanding and recent studies show that consumers believe that service contracts deliver value. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Customer Experience, Risk Management, Service Contract, Warranty

Three cheers for plain language

fireworks

Commenting on An Orwellian approach to legal writing, 3 readers share insights and experiences recommending plain language. Here’s a sampling of what they have to say:

“My crime briefs ‘read like a thriller,’” says Bapoo M. Malcolm, Advocate, Bombay High Court, India.

“Practice has shown that people appreciate simplicity & clarity in comprehension compared to more technical writing (jargons & all),” observes Janice Isu, Acting Principal Legal Officer, Office of the State Solicitor, Dept. of Justice & Attorney General, Papua New Guinea.

“A company can’t hide behind fine print written in legalese. Judges rule for the average person,” declares Paul Eveleigh, a copywriter from Melbourne, Australia.

There’s more. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Best Practices, Court Decisions, Customer Experience, Service Contract, Statutes & Regulations, Warranty